Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Insemination Procedures

Insemination Procedures

Treatment Overview

For some people with infertility problems, insemination procedures can improve the chances of pregnancy. These procedures use a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to place sperm into the female reproductive tract during ovulation.

Before the procedure, superovulation medicine may be used to increase the number of available eggs. The sperm are often washed and concentrated. This means that only highly active, healthy sperm are chosen. These sperm are more capable of fertilizing an egg.

Sperm can be placed in the vagina, cervix, or uterus during insemination. The sperm then travel to the fallopian tubes, where they can fertilize the egg or eggs. If the sperm are placed in the uterus, it's called intrauterine insemination.

Donor sperm can be used if the male partner has a very low or absent sperm count or carries a risk of genetic disease. Some people use donor sperm when they want to get pregnant without a male partner.

What To Expect

What To Expect

These techniques are done on an outpatient basis and require only a short recovery time. You may feel cramping during the procedure, especially if sperm are inserted into your uterus. You may be told to avoid strenuous activities for the rest of the day.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

Insemination procedures may be done if:

  • Tests have shown no cause for infertility (unexplained infertility).
  • Infertility is caused by retrograde ejaculation. This means semen and sperm are released into the urinary bladder instead of out of the penis.
  • There aren't enough sperm in the semen, or they're poor quality. In this case, your doctor may recommend that you try ICSI. ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
  • There is a problem with the cervix, such as from prior surgery, that prevents sperm from traveling through it.
  • Someone who's single wants to get pregnant. Or an LGBTQ+ couple wants to start a family.
How Well It Works

How Well It Works

Treatment success is strongly influenced by age. This is because an aging egg supply decreases pregnancy rate, and miscarriage risk increases with age.

For people with unexplained infertility, intrauterine insemination can improve the chances of becoming pregnant when combined with superovulation treatment.



Insemination combined with superovulation increases the risk of multiple pregnancy (conceiving more than one fetus). Multiple pregnancy is high-risk for mother and fetuses.

Insemination procedures pose a slight risk of infection.

Some people have severe cramping during insemination.

There is a slight risk of puncturing the uterus during intrauterine insemination.

There is a slight risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome if superovulation is used together with insemination.

There may be a higher risk of birth defects for babies conceived by certain assisted reproductive techniques. Talk with your doctor about these possible risks.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details